Liverpool are reportedly monitoring Malaga defender Ivan Gonzalez with a view to a potential January move.

The Spanish centre back has been on the Anfield radar for some time, with Liverpool chief scout Eduardo Macia reportedly watching the player from before Rafael Benitez's time at the club.

Reports in December 2009 claimed that the Reds were set to bid on the player last January, and the speculation has resurfaced despite the change of manager on Merseyside.

Roy Hodgson is thought to have money at his disposal following the arrival of NESV as the new owners at Liverpool, and Spanish publication Cadena Ser reports that the Anfield chief could spend some of the cash on Gonzalez after Premier League clubs enquired about the player.

A three-month injury to Jamie Carragher, sustained in the weekend defeat against Spurs, has led to further speculation that the Liverpool boss will look to strengthen his defensive options at the first opportunity.

22-year-old Gonzalez has spent his entire career at Malaga, moving from the youth to B team before making his senior debut during the 2009 La Liga campaign.

A regular at La Rosaleda, it is unknown how much Liverpool would have to pay to prize the player away from his current club.

Highly regarded in his homeland and tipped to be a future international for Spain, Liverpool could look to conclude a deal in the opening month of 2011 and avoid a potential bidding war with any other interested parties.

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